A broad collaborative effort is taking place throughout the Chesapeake region to restore water quality, revive and sustain natural resources, protect cultural landscapes, and provide more locations for water access and outdoor recreation. Furthering this, National Park Service Chesapeake Bay and the Chesapeake Conservancy regularly convene non-governmental, local, state and federal partners to collaborate on strategies for landscape conservation, specific actions across jurisdictional boundaries, and shared expertise.
The Chesapeake region, encompassing the Bay, rivers, and their watersheds, has a long-standing history of innovation and commitment towards conserving landscapes that contribute to environmental health, economic well-being and the quality of life for millions of people. Over the years, Chesapeake landscape conservation initiatives have served as national examples and spawned adoption across broader regions. Much of this leadership has occurred at the state level, with vastly successful land protection programs in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
In 2009, President Obama signed Executive Order 13508 declaring the Chesapeake Bay "a national treasure" and recognizing the nationally significant assets of the watershed in the form of "public lands, facilities, military installations, parks, forests, wildlife refuges, monuments, and museums." The order called for a strategy for protecting and restoring the Chesapeake, including advancing land conservation and public access. The National Park Service Chesapeake Bay helps foster watershed-wide collaboration in carrying out this aspect of the strategy.
Today, landscape conservation efforts in the Chesapeake watershed might best be summed up by these characteristics:
Collaborative work with partners has resulted in several publications and initiatives. Click on one of the links below to learn more about:LandScope Chesapeake
Large Landscape Conservation Workshop, August 2012
Large Landscape Conservation Partnership Analysis
Indigenous Cultural Landscapes
Conservation Strategy for the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail
Did You Know?
The water in the Chesapeake Bay is surprisingly shallow. Although the Bay covers a large surface area, its average depth, including all tidal tributaries, is about 21 feet. In fact, a person who is six feet tall could wade through over 700,000 acres of the Bay and never get his or her hat wet.